The American farmland of the past conjures images easy to identify and recognize - a place of beauty, nature, growth filled with farmers as noble growers and fosterers of life. How have our ideas and expectations of the American farmer evolved over time? As the food system has expanded its size while reducing the number of farmers and farms, the idea of a personal relationship between grower and consumer has diminished.
In my thesis work, I follow the life of one organic farm operated by Tom and Sarah Paduano in southern Bel Air, Maryland. The only certified organic vegetable farm in the county, Flying Plow Farm offers an alternate source of food to locals through a Community Supported Agriculture system. With this project, I aim to convey the wholehearted and deep commitment this couple has made to farming and the lifestyle it entails. From my own experience and interaction with Tom and Sarah, I show that for them, farming is not an occupation but a life, full of risk, responsibility, and reward.